Tag Archive: Steve Martin


Post-Oscars Wrap-up

First and foremost, congrats to all the winners!

Yesterday I wrote that it was unlikely for any film but Avatar to win Best Picture. I’m so glad I was wrong! It was heartening to see that the Academy’s voters considered commercial success (which Avatar continues to enjoy in abundance) separately from what makes a great, award-worthy film.

The Hurt Locker Cleans Up

Who would have thunk it? Avatar and The Hurt Locker both went into the show with nine nominations, and The Hurt Locker walked away with six Oscars, while the highest-grossing movie in history, Avatar, only received three.  Everyone was blown away as the excellent but “small” film The Hurt Locker ended up top dog. Kathryn Bigelow received the best director Oscar, Mark Boal got the award for original screenplay, and the film snagged film editing, sound editing, and sound mixing.

No one turned a camera on the former King of the World (James Cameron) so we could see his reaction as his ex-wife and talented better half gave an acceptance speech that focused on supporting our troops and others in uniform rather than on herself.  *big smile*

Disappointments

Well, Sandra Bullock did end up with the best actress award. As I mentioned, I’m a big fan of hers and love watching her silly movies. But I completely disagree that her performance was better than those of her fellow nominees. She probably said it best in her speech when she joked, “… did I just wear you down?” That must have been it.  But congratulations anyway, Sandy, and enjoy the ride.

Even more maddening was that chunk-o-rama Up winning best animated feature. Besides the way the characters are drawn, none of them is truly likeable. It’s a mystery to me why this film was so praised, and all I can think of is that it had the best PR somehow.  No idea.  I’m stumped here.

My biggest disappointment by far, though, is that District 9, one of my favorite movies of the year, won nothing at all. Hey, at least this off-the-beaten-path film was recognized by several nominations … and I have a DVD copy I can watch anytime!

On with the Show

To my surprise and chagrin, the hosting team of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin was not as funny as I’d hoped.  There were moments when they made me laugh out loud, but fewer than I’d anticipated. 

The other weird turn on the show was Tom Hanks coming out at the end to announce, rather abruptly and without further fanfare, that the best picture winner was The Hurt Locker.  The show was a bit over on time, as it typically is, but it just seemed strangely hurried to me.

What was marvelous was Neil Patrick Harris’s opening number!  Now, that’s entertianment! And, as a friend wrote to me, who knew he could sing and dance like that?  Otherwise, pretty boring and uneventful ceremony.  Come on, people … at least make it fun to watch.

Over and out!

Z

The Xmas Vaca Movie-Watching Post

Over the holidays, I did some movie watching (gee, what a surprise) with the other movie freak in my family, my mom, and went to see a flick at the theater with her and also one with my brother.  It was a banner movie-watching holiday!  Here are some observations about these movies, old and new.

It’s Complicated Is Simply Funny

This is a silly film that could have been a throw-away in lesser hands. But the loads of talent involved in It’s Complicated makes it hilarious and very worth watching. Who would have thought that an older-set romance could be so much fun?  My favorite moment was probably when Meryl Streep, all giggly from realizing she’s having an affair with her ex-husband and even lying to her grown kids about it, catches herself and suddenly realizes how goofy she’s being — priceless facial expressions.  John Krasinski is adorable as the secret-keeping Harley.  B+

The Blind Side Is an After-School Special

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad film. But after all the hype I had heard, frankly I expected more. The Blind Side follows in the tradition of movies based on sports-connected true stories like Rudy and We Are Marshall but fails to inspire in the way that these films did. Why is that? One reason may be the lack of loquacity of its main character. Big Mike doesn’t talk much. It’s part of his character and makes sense, but it also makes it difficult for an audience to connect with him. The lack of connection is aggravated by other characters talking about and to him in simple terms. The after-school special feel of the film comes from its simplistic treatment of complex issues. It surely could not have been quite so easy for Leigh Anne Tuohy to get her family on board and to keep her household in order. Were there really no fights, no ill effects, no resistance? One small glitch is hinted at when Leigh Anne tells Michael he’s ruining the expensive couch he’s sleeping on, so she’ll clean out the guest bedroom for him. Perhaps it would have helped to see this damage and other understandable domestic complications, making the story more realistic at a visceral level. She’s also able to quiet friends and relatives with a “Shame on you” when they worry about “a large black boy” in the house with her young daughter. I don’t know many good friends or real family who wouldn’t storm over to see just how this situation was shaping up. Despite Oscar buzz, I see this as a rental.  C-  Continue reading

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